Written by Norman Isaac Mwambazi

11 Best-performing IPOs in the last 12 months

Over the last 12 days, we have seen several companies going public and investors who were lucky enough to get …

Over the last 12 days, we have seen several companies going public and investors who were lucky enough to get shares of these companies before their IPOs registered first-day gains in their books.

However, getting shares of a company before it goes public is not an opportunity that avails itself to everyone. Most retail investors have to wait until companies go public to buy stock. This list consists of strong performing companies that went public in the past 12 months.

Criterial followed

Here is the criterion we followed to come up with this list.

Type of IPO

What type of IPO did these companies adopt when they were going public? We searched for companies that listed via a traditional initial public offering. This meant that companies that merged with Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs) were filtered out of this special search.

Where were they listed?

For this list, we considered where the companies were listed, and our emphasis was on either the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) or the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

How big are they?

Although there is no specified market capitalisation cap required by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a company to go public, we only focused on companies that had at least a $1 billion market capitalization going into the IPO and we narrowed our search to companies with the highest total returns from their stock offering prices which left us with 11 companies.

CureVac (ticker: CVAC)

11 Best-performing IPOs in the last 12 months

Of all the companies that had their IPOs in the past 12 months, no company performed better than CureVac. This German biotech company which went public in August 2020 at $16 a share soared 249% on its first day on the stock exchange and had a total return of 596.75% with the stock closing at $55.90. The company’s stock currently goes for $108.28 a share. 

CureVac specializes in the messenger RNA, or mRNA, the technology that is the basis of several leading COVID-19 vaccine programs. In January this year, CureVac signed a deal with Bayer AG, a German multinational pharmaceutical and life sciences company to accelerate the development and supply of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

CureVac’s mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine is now in clinical trials, and the company will report its Phase2b/3 clinical trial data this summer.

Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd (ticker: ZIM)

11 Best-performing IPOs in the last 12 months

Contrary to CureVac’s first-day trading success at the IPO, some companies don’t post as strong performances on the IPO debut but that does not stop them from picking up pace thereafter and have their stock perform better. To put this into context, four of the companies that made it on this list had their stock falling below their IPO prices on the first day of trading and one of them is Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd.

The asset-light shipping company went public in January 2021 offering its stock at $15 a share. However, the company closed that trading day with its stock falling to $11.50. The company’s first day of public trading did not deter it from posting strong numbers in the months that followed and by May 19, ZIM’s stock had gained 295% according to its Q1 FY2021 earnings of $589.6 million, or $5.35 a share. The company also declared a special cash dividend of $2 a share.

With a total return of 209.33% according to FactSet data, ZIM is the second-best-performing IPO in the past 12 months. The company’s stock is currently priced at $43.55 with a market capitalisation of $5.01 billion.

Academy Sports & Outdoors (ticker: ASO)

11 Best-performing IPOs in the last 12 months

Another example of the companies that underperformed on the first trading of the IPO is Academy Sports & Outdoors (ASO). Academy went public in October 2021 with a $13 offering price but its stock closed its first day of trading with a drop to $12.99.

However, (last however, I promise, aha) the company was profitable when it went public, something that is rare in the IPO market. In March, the Academy reported that its net income soared 416%, to $91.5 million, or 97 cents a share, for its Q4 FY2020 that ended on January 30, 2021.

Since the IPO, Academy’s share price has nearly tripled, and it currently goes for $37.20 with a market capitalisation of $3.49 billion. Academy Sports ranks third on the list of best-performing IPOs in the last 12 months with a total return from the offering price of 181%, according to FactSet.

Strong Gainers

These companies all went public in the last year and produced high total returns compared to their IPO prices.

Company Name (As Reported)SymbolOffer DateOffer Price (USD)Total % Return From Offer Price
CureVac BVCVAC.US14-Aug-202016.00596.75
Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd.ZIM.US27-Jan-202115.00209.33
Academy Sports & Outdoors, Inc.ASO.US01-Oct-202013.00181.00
Dream Finders Homes, Inc.DFH.US20-Jan-202113.00144.38
BigCommerce Holdings, Inc.BIGC.US04-Aug-202024.00126.63
MediaAlpha, Inc.MAX.US28-Oct-202019.00122.74
Yalla Group Ltd.YALA.US30-Sep-20207.50107.60
Li Auto, Inc.LI.US30-Jul-202011.50102.61
CPG Newco LLCAZEK.US11-Jun-202023.0089.26
Corsair Gaming, Inc.CRSR.US23-Sep-202017.0083.65
Unity Software, Inc.U.US17-Sep-202052.0081.65
Source: FactSet. Data as of May 29.

Corsair Gaming (ticker: CRSR), Yalla Group (ticker: YALA)

A California-based company known as Corsair Gaming Inc. that makes performance gear for gamers also made it to the list in the 10th position, as well as the Dubai-based Yalla Group (YALA), which makes a voice-chat app used in the Middle East and North Africa called Yalla. Both Corsair and Yalla went public in September last year on the 23rd and 30th respectively and have rebounded strongly after less-than-stellar IPOs.

Some companies that are included on this list outperformed their offering prices during their IPO debuts and although they are still registering gains, they have seen their shares retreat.

Some of these include BigCommerce, an Austin, Texas-based technology company that provides a Software as a Service (SaaS) e-commerce platform. Founded in 2009 and currently employing over 600 employees, BigCommerce’s e-commerce platform customers include companies like the Cleveland Cavaliers, SkullCandy, and Savannah Bee Co among others.

The company went public in August 2021 with a share going for $24. By close of trading business that day, the stock had soared 201%, trading at $72.27. Since the IPO, the shares have fallen nearly 25% and it is currently trading at $56.94 with a market capitalisation of $3.93 billion.

Despite the falling of its shares, BigCommerce has managed to do some good business, like a deal struck in February 2021, that would give BigCommerce customers the ability to sell directly on Walmart Marketplace. Another notable achievement is that the company’s Q4 FY2020 earnings exceeded expectations. According to FactSet, BigCommerce has produced a total return of nearly 127% since its IPO in August 2020.

Other companies like Dream Finders Homes (ticker: DFH) which debuted with an offering of $13 early this year saw its shares soar 61% to close the trading day at $20.95. Dream Finders Homes designs, builds, and sells homes in high-growth markets and was already profitable when it went public.

The company benefited from the growth of house prices in March gaining nearly 52% since its IPO and registering a total return of 144.38%. Currently, its stock is trading at $33.77 per share.

PS: Stock prices quoted here can change at any time. Courtesy Photos.